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Prussian Cavalry Regimental Standards Chart
(in times of Friedrich the Great 1740–1786)

Most images are the work of Klaus-Michael Schneider

|  Return to: Page One: Prussian Cavalry Regimental Colours  |

        King Frederick II (Friedrich), known to history as Frederick the Great, ascended the throne of Prussia in 1740. Frederick the Great would lead the disciplined Prussian troops to victory during the 18th Century Silesian Wars and greatly increase the prestige of the Kingdom of Prussia in the process. His cavalry was probably the most valued arm of the Prussian army.
        Prussia, possessing horses in plenty and numerous men who, from their childhood, had been at home in the saddle, developed the finest calvary in Europe. The fame of Prussian cavalry reached its peak under Frederick the Great. During the Seven Years War the Prussian cavalry was decisive in a number of victorious battles, both by bold charges and enveloping operations. In several occasions it even prevented disaster by covering army retreats.

| Top of the page | Cuirassiers | Dragoons | Hussars |


      The Cuirassiers were the successors of the medieval knights. Their name is derived from the French word for leather "cuir." Being heavily armed and having the biggest horses Cuirassiers were used on the attack as shock troops.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
2nd Cuirassiers
Regimental Colours

The Cuirassier Regiment "Queen" (Pommeranian) No. 2

The Cuirassier Regiment 'Queen' (Pommeranian) No. 2 (Kürassier-Regiment "Königin" (Pommersches) Nr. 2) began as a dragoon regiment. Formed in 1717 as the Dragoon Regiment No.5 'Bayreuth' (Dragoner-Regiment Nr.5 Bayreuth Dragoner) it remained a part of the Prussian order of battle until 1918. The regiment first saw action during the War of Austrian Succession and was present at the Battles of Mollwitz, Chotusitz, and achieved great fame for their role in winning the Battle of Hohenfriedberg in 1745. With the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756, the regiment was in the vanguard of the Prussian advance into Saxony and played important roles at the Battle of Lobositz, the Siege of Pirna and the Battle of Prague.

In 1819, it was transformed into a cuirassier (heavy calvary) regiment named after Major Queen consort Louise (1806-1810) The main regimental garrison was Pasewalk in Western Pommerania from 1721 to 1919.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
4th Cuirassiers
Regiment Colours

The Cuirassiers Regiment "von Arneburg" No. 4

This interesting regiment began its existance as two 100 man companies in 1672 that were formed to provide security for the Electoral Court in East Prussia and was at first mockingly known as the "Court and kitchen Dragoons." Their first commander was Colonel Joachim Ernst v. Grumbkow. However, by 1675, it had grown to six companies and reached true "Kürassier" regimental size.

It would become one Fredrick the Great's most decorated Prussian heavy calvary regiments and was active during the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748), the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), and the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778. The 4th Cuirassiers were at all of Frederick the Great's most notable and decisive military victories on the battlefield, which included the Battles of Hohenfriedberg, Rossbach, and Leuthen.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
6th Cuirassiers
Regiment Colours

6th Cuirassiers Regiment

The 6th Cuirassiers Regiment traced its origins back to 1689. It saw action during the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748), the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), and after Frederick II's death, it participated in the War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779), especially winning great honors in the campaign in the Netherlands in 1787, and finally against the French Republic in 1792-94 at Verdun, Valmy, Mainz, Saar and Palatinate. During its existance it was garrisoned at various times in Mansfeld, Seehausen, Salts, Schönebeck, Walsleben, and between 1724-1806 in Aschersleben, Oschersleben and Kroppenstedt.

Usually, the Cuirassiers were used as shock troops, usually against an enemies wing. As weapons, they used the "carabineer" and wide and heavy basket-hilted sword. They were considered a noble elite force.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
9th Cuirassiers
Regiment Colours

9th Cuirassiers Regiment

The 9th Cuirassiers Regiment first entered Brandenburg's service in 1691 and consisted of four companies. Their first commander was Lieutenant-Colonel von Lehtmate, followed years later under Fredrick the Great by Katte and Wartensleben in 1741; Möllendorf in 1743; Bornstedt in 1751; Prinz von Schönaich in 1758; Bredow in 1769; Podewils in 1784; and finally by Braunschweig until 1787.

In the following years it was mainly garrisoned in Oppeln and Lowen, but served with honor in the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748), the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), and the War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779).

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
11th Cuirassiers
Regiment Colours

11th Cuirassiers Regiment

The first commander of the Prussian 11th Cuirassiers Regiment was Colonel Paul von Brandt in 1691. The establishment of the new regiment was a part of the military buildup under the then Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick III, and his plans to elevating his status to the King of Prussia, which he did in 1701 becoming Frederick I of Prussia. The 11th Cuirassiers regiment would be eventual be garrisoned and headquartered in Rathenow and Burg.

The 11th Cuirassiers first saw service in the Great Northern War (1700-21), when Frederick William I, the father of the future "King Frederick the Great" (Friedrich II of Prussia), later entered the war. The 11th Cuirassiers would see service in all of Prussia's wars up to and including the Napoleonic Wars.

| Top of the page | Cuirassiers | Dragoons | Hussars |


     In the 17th Century, dragoons were the light infantry skirmishers of their day - lightly armed mounted infantrymen who rode into battle, but dismounted to fight, giving them a mobility lacking to regular foot soldiers.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
2nd Dragoons Regiment Colours

2nd Dragoons Regiment of Pferde

Although the 2nd Dragoons was raised as an independent regiment in 1725, parts of it had existed as elements of other fighting units during the Franco-Dutch War in 1696, and the Spanish War of Succession in Flanders (1706-1709). These predecessors saw action in the Battle of Oudenarde and the Battle of Malplaquet during that time.

After becoming an independent regiment in 1725, the 2nd Dragoons were garrisoned mainly in Lüben and Bunzlau. Their first commander was Colonel Friedrich Otto Frhr von Sonsfeld , who was later followed by notable commanders such as Colonel Louis Prince of Württemberg in 1749; Major General Reimar Schwerin in 1754; Major-General Christian Friedrich von Blanckensee in 1757; Colonel Anton von Krockow in 1778; the Prince of Württemberg, in 1781; and Colonel Johann Christoph von Milling until 1790. The unit served in both Silesian Wars, the War of Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War, and the War of Bavarian Succession under Frederick the Great.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
3rd Dragoons Regiment Colours

3rd Dragoons Regiment of Pferde

The 3rd Dragoons Regiment was first raised as a new regiment of eight companies, in four cornets, in 1704, and was garrisoned in Küstrin. Its first Commander was Major General Friedrich von Derfflinger in 1704, followed by Colonel Adolf Friedrich von Schulenburg in 1724; Colonel Friedrich Rudolf Graf von Rothenburg in 1741; Baron von Schönaich in 1753; Count of Waldburg in 1753; Major General Peter von Meinicke in 1757; Major General Kurt Friedrich von Flanss in 1761; Oberst Achaz Heinrich von Alvensleben in 1763; Alvensleben, Major General Otto Balthasar von Thun in 1777; Major General Georg Ludwig von Gilsa in 1788; Major General von Prittwitz, Wolf, Moritz in 1792; Major General Hans Carl Strantz in 1797; and Colonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Irving in 1800.

It served under Friedrich the Great during the First Silesian War (1740-1742), the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), the Second Silesian War (1744-1745), the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778, and during Frederick the Great's most notable and decisive military victories on the battlefield.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
8th Dragoons Regiment Colours

8th Dragoons Regiment

The 8th Dragoons Regiment was raised in 1744, and garrisoned in Magdeburg and Insterburg. Its Commanders: were first Stosch until 1751, the Langermann until 1757, Platen until 1758, Alt-Platen until 1770, and Platen until 1787.

The 8th Dragoons Regiment experienced its first combat as a regiment at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745, against the combined forces of Austria and Saxony during the part of the War of the Austrian Succession known as the Second Silesian War. The 8th Dragoons Regiment was on the left wing in the first bloody meeting in the impassable Zschoner-Bach stream before Zöllmen, a village in the West of the Saxon capital of Dresden. Their losses were small in contrast to the losses of the infantry on both sides.

During the Seven Years' War, they participated in the battles of Zorndorf and Kunersdorf. At Zorndorf, they attacked as a reserve behind the left wing of Zorndorf in the great attack from Seydlitz and showed great bravery. Taken in flank and front the whole enemy wing was defeated. The 8th Dragoons Regiment also fought in the Reserve Corps L'Estocq (2nd Hussar Regiment) at both Thorn and Soldau, and in 1807 in the Battle of Braunsberg and the Battle of Königsberg during the Napoleonic Wars.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
12th Dragoons Regiment Colours

12th Dragoons Regiment

The 12th Dragoons transferred from Württemberg service in 1742, and were garrisoned in Treptow and Wollin. Its first commander was Friedrich Eugen, the Duke of Württemberg, until 1749, Prinz Eugen von Württemberg until 1769, Reitzenstein until 1780, and Kalckreuth until 1793.

The unit was incorporated into the Prussian army on September 28, 1741, as a dragoon regiment. It had existed since 1734, but was in the Württemberg service as a cuirassier regiment designated as "Kürassier-Regiment Duchess Marie Auguste." At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of 5 squadrons. During the Seven Years’ War the regiment fought at the Battles of Kolin, Breslau, Leuthen, Kunersdorf, Landeshut, and Liegnitz.

The long history of the 12th Dragoons ended in the Napoleonic campaigns that included the decisive Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806. It was disbanded in 1806, after the capitulation of Ratekau.

| Top of the page | Cuirassiers | Dragoons | Hussars |

Hussars (light cavalry)

     Hussars had smaller horses and were lightly armoured to provide a quick, flexible, and deadly highly mobile unit to scout and harass enemy units. During attacks they were used to cause disturbances behind the enemy’s lines.
     The first unit of hussars in Prussia was established in 1721 as a unit of "strangers" (foreigners) from Wallachia and put under the command of the Dragoons Regiment No.6. At the time King Friedrich-Wilhelm I recommended enrolling exclusively soldiers from Poland or Hungary, because it was understood that Germans would not be able to do the job properly.
     At first, Hussars were considered just as a matter of fashion and had parade uniforms with distingue and colorful touches (feathers, skulls, etc.), but King Friedrich the Great, noticed that the Hussars were very useful in war and soon gave them a lot of extra specialized tasks. Soon 10 regiments were established and, many times, these first Hussars units were not named by numbers, but by the names of their chiefs or special nicknames based on their uniforms, etc.

Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider
2nd Hussars Regiment Colours

2nd Hussars Regiment (Husaren-Regiment "von Zieten")

The "Zieten Hussars" were at first a regiment of the Prussian Army, and later part of the Imperial German Army. Originally founded in 1730, and named after its first Colonel, Hans Joachim von Zieten, they adopted the tradition of wearing a distinctive tiger-skin pelisse for their parade uniforms, with company officers wearing fur caps with heron feathers and field officers using an eagles's wing. During the 1806 campaign of the War of the Fourth Coalition, the regiment became known as the von Rudorff Hussar Regiment, but soon was renamed the Lite Hussar Regiment von Rudorff (No.2) (No.2 Leib-Husaren von Rudorff).

The regiment had capitulated at Ratekau following the defeat of 1806 and been disbanded. In 1808, however, it was reactivated and merged with Blücher's Corps to create the 1st Brandenburg Hussar Regiment (Husaren Regiment Nr.3). This regiment then served throughout the 1813-1815 campaigns on the Coalition side, also participating in the final 1815 campaign. With the unification of Germany, the regiment was reformed by the Second Reich and its traditional ties with the old Prussian 2nd Hussar Regiment officially recognized.

- My thanks to Klaus-Michael Schneider for all his expert help and advice on this page -

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